Posts tagged ‘Manorama’

June 3, 2009

Hira Aur Patthar (1977)

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I struggle a bit with Hindi films that are a commentary on religion and atheism since of course by Hindi Film Law the protagonists all have to end up squarely on the side of religion. I grew up on a mission station, attended church every Sunday for the first 17 years of my life, sang in the church choir, belonged to the youth group, etc., until I left home and could finally choose what to do on Sunday mornings for myself (generally I chose to sleep in). So turning my back on organized religion and embracing atheism was an “informed” choice for me and I doubt that I will ever change my mind. Having said that, one of the things I appreciated about this movie was its open discussion of atheism and morality and how they are not necessarily in conflict. Plus: Shabana Azmi, Shashi Kapoor, Ashok Kumar and Bindu!

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May 18, 2009

Bombay To Goa (1972)

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Finally (thanks to Beth!) I got around to watching this Mehmood production, and I’m so glad I did. I seem to be on a roll of “not much plot but plenty of other stuff to entertain” types of films! I am sure I missed a lot of the regional humor, although some of it was so broad I couldn’t miss it—the south Indian family, for instance. Parts of it did drag on a little too long (the whole film was one big long Comic Side Plot, after all), but it was so much fun picking out guest actors and marvelling at Amitabh’s shirts that altogether I was highly entertained. Some of the subtitles were hilarious too—sometimes even because the actual dialogue was hilarious. Although Aruna Irani and Amitabh Bachchan were nominally the hero-heroine, it was a Mehmood & Friends vehicle all the way (no pun intended)!

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March 2, 2009

Dus Lakh (1966)

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I usually approach comedies with some trepidation: humor doesn’t always translate well (literally or figuratively), and slapstick wears me down after a while. However, my Sanjay Khan experience has been sadly lacking and this film also offers up Pran and Helen—and Kashmir!—which I can never resist. And lucky me! Dus Lakh turned out to be a lot of fun. It’s an ensemble film which mostly revolves around Om Prakash, Pran and Manorama; the Sanjay-Babita (in her debut) jodi is almost a side plot. The trio at the center are hilarious, though, and it’s also chock-full of excellent songs by one of my favorites, Ravi. Solid support from Helen, Ramesh Deo (who has way more charisma than Sanjay Khan), Seema Deo and Brahmchari add to the delight.

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February 25, 2009

Baharon Ke Sapne (1967)

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We all know about the “Curse of the Second Half” which afflicts many films. I am happy that this one avoids that, but sad to say that it suffers instead from the “Curse of the Last Half Hour Or So” and devolves into melodrama and idiocy not befitting an otherwise really good film.

It is dominated by Nana Palsikar’s fine performance as Bholanath, an elderly man who has never lost his capacity for optimism despite a life of hardship and poverty. He has pinned all his hopes on his son Ram (Rajesh Khanna), whom he has educated against all odds. The conflicted father-son relationship is portrayed poignantly and believably by both actors. Jal Mistry won a Filmfare Award for his gorgeous cinematography (the art director should have too), and RD Burman’s music is a joy.

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August 9, 2008

Maha Chor (1976)

I never did figure out if this was an intentional parody of filmi cliches, or if it was just bad. Maybe it was a badly done parody. In any case—it was bad. The story was ridiculous with gaping plot holes, too many suspension-of-disbelief requirements, and loose ends left hanging all over the place. These things alone are not a dealbreaker; but together *shakes head*…I’m not even going to try and do a synopsis.

However, there were some good things about it. This is one reason why I love Hindi movies. You can almost always find something to appreciate!

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August 3, 2008

Trivia time #29

In which film do character actors Rashid Khan and Indira Bansal appear in a song as husband and wife (in an uncredited guest appearance)?

Bonus points for the song name and singer, and the actor picturized as the singer.

Help Memsaab identify the other couples in that same song!

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February 16, 2008

Milestones

This has been a week of real milestones in the Hindi movie world…

Pran celebrated his 88th birthday in style; Sanjay Dutt got married (also in style); Rajendranath passed away; and yesterday actress Manorama passed away also.

She was in a LOT of movies in her lifetime, the last being Deepa Mehta’s Water (she played Madhumati, the “head” of the widow’s ashram). Probably her best known role was as the wicked aunt in Seeta Aur Geeta.

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May she also rest in peace.

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